Is Your Monthly Donor Tax-Letter Ready?
Happy New Year! I hope you had some time to share with family and friends or just relax. I had a wonderful holiday and finally got to hang those pictures I had been meaning to hang in my office for months! That took care of at least one new year’s resolution.
Now it’s back to a brand new fundraising year. I bet many of you are still feverishly working on thanking those donors who came in late 2017. I’ve already heard from several of my clients indicating they had a good year. With the tax reform, the next months will be very indicative of what we can expect this year, unprecedented, I’m sure.
So, it’s up to you to make sure that the donor feels good about their giving experience—no matter what the amount. I recommend pulling in some extra people, volunteers and board members to make thank-you phone calls. Put some extra effort into sending out the thank-you letters pronto. And make sure you’re ready to send out tax letters well before the end of the month.
If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you know that I’m a strong proponent of sending out tax letters to monthly donors, regardless of the amount of their gift and not sending monthly thank-you letters. It saves you stamps and time, and it opens up the “slots” for other opportunities to make monthly donors feel good about their commitment.
The image below shows one total amount for the year (no need to list the monthly gifts) and allowing for some room for a story. And if your numbers warrant it, use some space for a personal note. If your numbers are too large to manage a real personal note, I suggest scanning in a personal message and have your mail house print that on the letter like you see on the sample.
Use this opportunity to tell your monthly donors how they’ve made a difference. Tell a story. Use everything you’d expect to be doing for a typical thank-you letter with the only difference that you’re giving the grand total for the year instead of their most recent amount.
Don’t over think it, but make sure you get it out before the end of January. Your (monthly) donors will appreciate the extra service you’re giving them.
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals. She authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving — in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and a cat, Mientje.